Friday, July 24, 2009
Rikki Watts: The Psalms in Mark's Gospel
I have an unpublished paper by Rikki Watts of Regent College entitled: "The Lord's House and David's Lord: the Psalms and Mark's Perspective on Jesus and the Temple." The abstract states:
"Four Davidic Psalms (2, 118, 110, and 22), each cited or alluded to at least twice, in this order, and at critical junctures in Mark's narrative, play a key role in his Gospel. In contemporary understanding Psalm 2 was associated with teh future messianic urging of Jersusalem and especially the Temple (e.g. 4QFlor, Pss Sol 17). Psalm 118, concluding the Egyptian Hallel, spoke of Israel's future deliverance under a Davidic king with the restored temple as the goal of Israel's return from exile. Psalm 110's surprisingly elevated royal desgination, uniquely expressed in Melchizedekian preist-king terms, contributed to several portraits of exalted heavenly deliverers, some messianic, who would preside over Israel's restoration (e.g. 11QMelch, 1 Enoch) while Psalm 22's Davidic suffering and vindication described teh deliverance of righteous Zion (e.g. 4QPs). Drawing from the dual perspective of their original contexts and contemporary interpretations, this paper proposes taht Mark's careful arrangement of his psalm citations presents Jesus as both Israel's Davidic Messiah (Pss 2, 118) and the temple's Lord (Ps 110) who, coming to purge Jerusalem but rejected by the temple authorities, announces the present structure's destruction and, through his death and vindication (Ps 22), its replacement with a new people-temple centred on himself."
What do the rest think on this? I concur with the use of Psalm 2 in Judaism and its relevance for the Gospel of Mark. The issue of replacing the temple with a people-temple is perhaps more controversial, although I am willing to give it some air time (the problem is that the early Jerusalem church seems fairly temple-centred in their worship and that requires explanation: two temples in parrallel or one temple inside another). Certain Ps 110 is also a big part of Mark's Christology too.